Its the start that matters. Maternity and child care is important and plans to fund child care will help… but “Britain has one of the lowest breast-feeding rates in the world, with only 50 per cent of mothers managing it for six weeks”

Rosemary Bennett reports in The Times 28rth May 2015: Bottle-feeding mothers victims of verbal abuse

Its the start that matters – in chess as in life. Maternity and child care is important and plans to fund child care (BBC News: Queen’s Speech 2015: Free childcare access to double) will help. But “Britain has one of the lowest breast-feeding rates in the world, with only 50 per cent of mothers managing it for six weeks”…. An opportunity for deserts based rationing? Unfortunately the record of direct attempts to reverse or correct inequalities are usually perverse in their outcomes… Lets hope this one is not. Will all Regions follow the English lead? Would the money be better spread down to 2 years old? What will the rich do with their extra cash?

Mothers who bottle-feed their babies are more likely to suffer verbal abuse, criticism and stigma in public than those who breastfeed, a report says.

It suggests that campaigns to encourage more women to breastfeed have led to a backlash against those who cannot or choose not to.

Some 40 per cent of bottle-feeding mothers surveyed for the report said that they had endured negative comments from strangers, angry stares and criticism, compared with 25 per cent of breastfeeding mothers. A further 16 per cent who used formula milk had been criticised by mothers they knew.

The findings come in a survey of more than 2,000 mothers by Channel Mum, an online video forum for parents.

Overall, more than two thirds of those who bottle-fed said they had been judged negatively, either by health professionals, friends and family or strangers in public, and had been made to feel they were failing their baby. Some mothers say they now pretend they are breastfeeding to avoid criticism.

Britain has one of the lowest breast-feeding rates in the world, with only 50 per cent of mothers managing it for six weeks and 1 per cent for six months, as recommended. The benefits of breastfeeding include higher IQs and lower rates of obesity.

However, questions have been asked about whether mothers are being properly helped to breastfeed. Some said they had not been warned that it can be difficult to establish a regime and can be painful.

Rachel Brady, 35, a mother of two, had to have her first baby re-admitted to hospital because he was underweight because of the difficulties she had breastfeeding.

“Despite the fact that I was clearly struggling, I was made to think giving him just one bottle was some sort of dirty, bad option. They told me just to persevere. Younger midwives in particular are very militant. I felt I had failed in the one thing that was asked of me as a new mother,” she said. Once in hospital, her son was part breast and part bottle-fed anyway.

Siobhan Freegard, the founder of Channel Mum, said that putting new mothers under pressure benefited no one. “Swapping abuse for mums who breastfeed in public for mums who bottle-feed isn’t progress,” she said. “Most mothers desperately want to breastfeed, but not all can. Those mums who do choose to bottle feed must not be made to feel second-class citizens.”

Justine Roberts, the chief executive of the Mumsnet forum, said: “Mothers need dedicated support and practical advice to make breastfeeding a truly attractive option. Until then, parents will continue to make the best choices they can in their own circumstances — and it’s important that they’re not judged for that or made to feel inadequate. Ultimately, a hungry baby needs to be fed, and no woman should suffer abuse or be put under pressure to change how they choose to feed their child.”

Health is Wealth: How parts of Britain are now poorer than POLAND with families in Wales and Cornwall among Europe’s worst off

It used to be the other way!

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, Perverse Incentives, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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